Landa a Grand Tour contender, says Contador

Following his move to Movistar, Mikel Landa has the quality to challenge for a Grand Tour in 2018, according to Alberto Contador.

Alberto Contador has backed Mikel Landa to become a Grand Tour contender after leaving Team Sky for Movistar.

Landa was an integral part of Sky's team that helped Chris Froome secure a historic fourth Tour de France title in 2017, the Spaniard a trusty lieutenant to his team's lead rider.

While Froome took the yellow jersey by 54 seconds from Rigoberto Uran, Landa was a credible fourth in the general classification – his best performance at the Tour.

Landa has previously claimed a Grand Tour podium at the Giro d'Italia in 2015, but a title continues to elude him.

However, Contador believes that could change after the 27-year-old opted to join Movistar from 2018.

"He is a very good cyclist," Contador told Omnisport at the Rouleur Classic event in central London. "He couldn't win until now.

"We have to see now which is going to be his role at Movistar and how the team manage with that role. 

"He has all the skills to fight for a Grand Tour."

Two-time Giro winner Ivan Basso echoed Contador's praise of Landa, who he believes is one of the strongest riders within the peloton. 

"I like Mikel Landa a lot," said the 39-year-old. "I can say that from a sporting director's view but as an ex-cyclist too.

"If I had a budget to sign a rider and had a team to ride Tour of France. I would pick Mikel Landa up for sure.

"I think Landa is the rider that I think he has better skills than the others, he has more talent than the others."

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